• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Problematic Discourses: Sexual Violence and Women Press Correspondents. First, the pervasiveness of patriarchy within journalism will be identified before assessing its dual implications for newsroom culture and the medias representation of women. This

Extracts from this document...


Problematic Discourses: Sexual Violence and Women Correspondents 'I would never put my daughter nor my wife in that situation.' (9 people liked this) _ JG 'She shouldn't have been there. Can that be said without it seeming like one is blaming the victim?' (The UnMa and 31 more like this) _Larz Blackman Just days after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, CBS issued a press-release confirming the sexual assault of its Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan at Tahrir Square. Certain segments of media commentary were problematic in the way they constructed sexist misrepresentations of women who choose to report from dangerous conflict zones and culturally insensitive stereotypes regarding Muslims. I contend that the treatment of sexual violence towards female foreign correspondents using frames that assign blame, or the token 'she deserved it' approach, are the consequence of patriarchal journalistic culture inherent within a predominantly Western, ethnocentric and male-dominated mainstream press. By conducting an in-depth analysis of two of the most controversial and salient examples of online mass media content as well as the discussions that emerged within the comment boxes, (as per the reactions above), I illustrate how the popular social and media discourses about sexual violence towards women and the sexual division of labour were simultaneously challenged and sustained. The scope of this essay was deliberately limited to two articles, not only because it was a more manageable task but because much of initial coverage during the first week was formulated in response to these articles (Williams 2011;North 2011; Marcotte 2011). First, the pervasiveness of patriarchy within journalism will be identified before assessing its dual implications for newsroom culture and the media's representation of women. ...read more.


Finally, there was a significant number of commenters engaging in the a more subtle kind of benevolent sexism, or protective paternalism, which it is claimed is easier for women to adopt since it appears to positively support 'women's' values (Bamburac 2006, p.27). Interestingly, those commenters who advocated that women correspondents should be excluded from warzones for their personal safety all justified this position in similar ways. Instrumentalizing the rhetoric of'...it's a just simple fact of reality' (SomeChick), '(it's) good ole common sense' (Sympathizer), '...join the real world' (Guest), these appeals to the logic of the real world confirmed how patriarchal ideology is disguised within aspirations to maintain the unequal status quo (Conway et. al., 1996). Ultimately, it is benevolently sexist and chauvinist commentaries which catalyse and sustain the popularity of a media blacklash discourse against victims and depoliticize the censure of women for engaging in risk-taking behaviour atypical of the female gender norms of passivity and dependence (Hoagland and Frye 2000, p.33). As former war correspondent Hilary Andersson (2003 p.22) confirms, women reporters in conflict zones are held to a different standard of accountability because of their entry into the masculinist, gendered space that is war, especially by the media who comment 'on our attire, our hair, our personal histories and oh yes, our abilities'. Feinstein (2003, p.124) adds that female war journalists subsequently develop unique characteristics, such as a resistance to the emotional consequences of trauma which in conjunction with the media's tendency to blame the victim in incidents of sexual assault, only encourages silencing for women who have experienced sexual violence whilst on assignment (Matloff 2007). Not only were the capabilities and inculpability of Logan called into question in the next article, but her assault became the site for the intersection of gender and cultural politics in the media as well. ...read more.


Marcotte, A 2011 'Adding insult to Lara Logan's injury', The Guardian, 15 Feb 2011, viewed 5 May 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/17/lara-logan-assault-cbs> Meraz, S 2009 'Is there an elite hold? Traditional Media to Social Media Agenda Setting Influencein Blog Networks', vol.14, pp.682-777. Moranjak-Bamburac, N 2006 'The unbearable lightness of stereotypes' in N Morankak-Bamburac, Jusic, T and Isanovic, A (eds.) StereotypingL representation of womn in print media in South East Europe, Mediacentar, Sarajevo. North, A 2011, 'After Lara Logan's After Lara Logan's Sexual Assault, Media Helpfully Discuss Her Hotness', Jezebel, 15 Feb 2011, viewed 5 May 2011, < http://jezebel.com/#!5761919/after-lara-logans-sexual-assault-media-helpfully-her-hotness> O'Toole, L, and Schiffman, J 1997, Gender Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, New York University Press, New York. Poole, E and Richardson, J 2006, Muslims and the News Media, I B Tauris & Co., New York. Saunders, K 2003, Ethics and Journalism, Sage, UK. Schlussel, D 2011, 'How Muslims Celebrate Victory: Egypt's "Peaceful, Moderate, Democratic" Protesters', Salon, 15 Feb 2011, view 5 May 2011, < http://www.debbieschlussel.com/33031/how-muslims-celebrate-victory-egypts-peaceful-moderate-democratic-protesters/> Steiner, L 2005, 'The 'gender matters' debate in journalism: lessons from the front', in S Allan (Ed.), Journalism: critical issues, McGraw-Hill, New York. Tieger, T 1981, Self-rated likelihood of raping and the social perception of rape, Journal of Social Research in Personality, vol.15, pp.147-158. Tumber H. and Webster F. 2006, Journalists under Fire, Sage, London. Tuchman, G 1979, 'Women's depiction in the mass media,' Signs, 4, 528-542. Williams, M 2011, 'What not to say about Lara Logan', Salon, 15 Feb 2011, viewed 5 May 2011, <http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/02/15/lara_logan_rape_reaction> Wilson S 2011, Lara Logan, CBS Reporter and Warzone 'It Girl,' Raped Repeatedly Amid Egypt Celebration', LA Weekly, 15 Feb 2011, view 5 May 2011 '<http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/02/lara_logan_raped_egypt_reporte.php> Van Zoonen, L 1998 One of the girls? The changing gender of journalism, in Carter C., Branston G., Allan S., News, gender and power, Routledge, London. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Gender Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Gender Studies essays

  1. Examine the sex-gender debate in feminist philosophy and social science.

    Sex assignment (calling someone female or male) is normative (Butler 1993). When the doctor calls a newly born infant a girl or a boy, she/he is not making a descriptive claim, but a normative one. In fact, the doctor is performing an illocutionary speech act.

  2. Gender or sexual violence, can it be stopped or how can it be prevented?

    While women, men, boys and girls can be victims of gender-based violence, women and girls are the main victims. ...shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to the following: a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse of children in

  1. This essay will be discussing how the issues of gender and sexuality are represented ...

    out and about on their normal daily business and being given flowers by strange men. This could possibly be due to the "ladette" culture of the late 1990s were it was fashionable for women to behave in a more masculine fashion.

  2. Summers states that The actual experience of far too many women in Australia today ...

    Gender inequality is also present in average earnings with woman's earnings accounting for 68% of men's in 2001 (Greig, Lewins, White 2003: p.p 58-77). Therefore woman not only experience inequality in the post-modern world through the employment structure and consequent opportunities and benefits, but also the relative pay levels in comparison to men (Greig, Lewins, White 2003: p.p 58-77).

  1. Sex Script Theory. The sexual script theory proposes that sexual encounters between two ...

    Additionally, it is essential to reiterate, that the way sexual conduct is enacted depends upon the sexual script viewed. Although porn is a great example of how sex scripts are influential, it only pertains to certain individuals, namely 18 and older adults.

  2. Literature Review; Explanations for the lack of coverage of female sports in the UK ...

    Gray and Richard Keys incident of January 2011 where during the Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers game, female assistant referee Sian Massey was victim to an onslaught of sexist remarks by the Pundits. Both men were caught exchanging derogatory language such as "What do women know about the offside rule?"

  1. The United Nations and Eradicating Violence Against Women

    to try to help the women gain their rights. Due to these lesser roles women hold, violence against them has yet to cease as it has been carrying on for generations throughout centuries. Examples of violence against women include honor killings (the homicide of a female by family member or

  2. How is the 21st century woman viewed in popular culture; subservient or empowered?

    These little girls grow up to be women and what ideologies are presented to children stay with them as they become the women of the 21st century. One of the most iconic toys that is marketed to little girls is Barbie.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work